Skip to main content

Full text of "Practical Occultism"

See other formats

i V 

40ft *i* 


Occultism versus the Occult Arts 



Adyar, Madras, India 



HP HERE are many people who are 
looking for practical instruction 
in Occultism. It becomes necessary, 
therefore, to state once for all : 

(a) The essential difference be 
tween theoretical and practical Oc 
cultism ; or what is generally known 
as Theosophy on the one hand, and 
Occult science on the other, and : 

(6) The nature of the difficulties 
involved in the study of the latter. 


It is easy to become a Theosophist. 
Any person of average intellectual capa 
cities, and a leaning toward the meta 
physical ; of pure, unselfish life, who 
finds more joy in helping his neighbour 
than in receiving help himself ; one who 
is ever ready to sacrifice his own 
pleasures for the sake of other people ; 
and who loves Truth, Goodness and 
Wisdom for their own sake, not for 
the benefit they may confer is a 

But it is quite another matter to put 
onself upon the path which leads to the 
knowledge of what is good to do, as to 
the right discrimination of good from 
evil ; a path which also leads a man to 
that power through which he can do 


the good he desires, often without even 
apparently lifting a finger. 

Moreover, there is one important fact 
with which the student should be made 
acquainted. Namely, the enormous, al 
most limitless, responsibility assumed 
by the teacher for the sake of the pupil. 
From the Gurus of the East who teach 
openly or secretly, down to the few 
Kabalists in Western lands who under 
take to teach the rudiments of the 
Sacred Science to their disciples those 
Western Hierophants being often them 
selves ignorant of the danger they incur 
one and all of those " Teachers " are 
subject to the same inviolable law. 
From the moment they begin really to 
teach, from the instant they confer any 


power whether psychic, mental or 
physical on their pupils, they take 
upon themselves all the sins of that 
pupil, in connection with the Occult 
Sciences, whether of omission or com 
mission, until the moment when initia 
tion makes the pupil a Master and 
responsible in his turn. There is a 
weird and mystic religious law, greatly 
reverenced and acted upon in the Greek, 
half-forgotten in the Roman Catholic, 
and absolutely extinct in the Protestant 
Church. It dates from the earliest days 
of Christianity and has its basis in the 
law just stated, of which it was a sym 
bol and an expression. This is the 
dogma of the absolute sacredness of the 
relation between the god-parents who 


stand sponsors for a child. 1 These 
tacitly take upon themselves all the 
sins of the newly baptized child 
(anointed as at the initiation, a mystery 
truly !) until the day when the child 
becomes a responsible unit, knowing 
good and evil. Thus it is clear why 
the " Teachers " are so reticent, and 
why "Chelas" are required to serve a 
seven years probation to prove their 
fitness, and develop the qualities neces 
sary to the security of both Master and 

1 So holy is the connection thus formed deemed 
in the Greek Church, that a marriage between 
god-parents of the same child is regarded as the 
worst kind of incest, is considered illegal and is 
dissolved by laxv ; and this absolute prohibition 
extends even to the children of one of the sponsors 
as regards those of the other. 


Occultism is not magic. It is com 
paratively easy to learn the trick of 
spells and the methods of using the 
subtler, but still material, forces of 
physical nature ; the powers of the 
animal soul in man are soon awakened ; 
the forces which his love, his hate, his 
passion, can call into operation, are 
readily developed. But this is Black 
Magic Sorcery. For it is the motive, 
and the motive alone, which makes an} r 
exercise of power become black, malig 
nant, or white, beneficent Magic. It is 
impossible to employ spiritual forces if 
there is the slightest tinge of selfishness 
remaining in the operator. For, unless 
the intention is entirely unalloyed, the 
spiritual will transform itself into the 


psychic, act on the astral plane, and 
dire results may be produced by it. 
The powers and forces of animal nature 
can equally be used by the selfish and 
revengeful, as by the unselfish and the 
all-forgiving ; the powers and forces of 
spirit lend themselves only to the per 
fectly pure in heart and this is DIVINE 

What are then the conditions requir 
ed to become a student of the " Divina 
Sapientia " ? For let it be known that 
no such instruction can possibly be 
given unless these certain conditions 
are complied with, and rigorously 
carried out during the years of study. 
This is a sine qua non. No man can 
swim unless he enters deep water, No 


bird can fly unless its wings are grown, 
and it has space before it and courage 
to trust itself to the air. A man who 
will wield a two-edged sword, must be 
a thorough master of the blunt weapon , 
if he would not injure himself or 
what is worse others, at the first 

To give an approximate idea of the 
conditions under which alone the study 
of Divine Wisdom can be pursued with 
safety, that is, without danger that 
Divine will give place to Black Magic, a. 
page is given from the " private rules/" 
with which every instructor in the East 
is furnished. The few passages which 
follow are chosen from a great number 
and explained in brackets. 


1. The place selected for receiving 
instruction must be a spot calculated 
not to distract the mind, and filled 
with " influence-evolving " (magnetic) 
objects. The five sacred colours gather 
ed in a circle must be there among 
other things. The place must be free 
from any malignant influences hanging 
about in the air. 

[The place must be set apart, and used 
for no other purpose. The five " sacred 
colours " are the prismatic hues arranged 
in a certain way, as these colours are very 
magnetic. By 4 malignant influences " are 
meant any disturbances through strifes, 
quarrels, bad feelings, etc., as these are 
said to impress themselves immediately on 
the astral light, i.e., in the atmosphere of 
the place, and to hang " about in the air." 
This first condition seems easy enough to 
accomplish, yet on further consideration, 


it is one of the most difficult ones to 

2. Before the disciple shall be per 
mitted to study " face to face," he has 
to acquire preliminary understanding in 
a select company of other lay upasaka 
(disciples), the number of whom must 
be odd. 

[" Face to face," means in this instance 
a study independent or apart from others, 
when the disciple gets his instruction face 
to face either with himself (his higher, 
Divine Self) or his guru. It is then 
only that each receives his due of infor 
mation, according to the use he has made 
of his knowledge. This can happen only 
toward the end of the cycle of instruction.] 

3. Before thou (the teacher) shalt 
impart to thy Lanoo (disciple) the good 


(holy) words of LAMRIN, or shall 
permit him " to make ready " for 
Dubjed, thou shalt take care that his 
mind is thoroughly purified and at 
peace with all, especially with Ms other 
Selves. Otherwise the words of Wisdom 
and of the good Law shall scatter and 
be picked up by the winds. 

[" Lamrin " is a work of practical in 
structions, by Tson-kha-pa, in two portions, 
one for ecclesiastical and exoteric purposes, 
the other for esoteric use. " To make 
ready" for Dubjed, is to prepare the vessels 
used for seership, such as mirrors and 
crystals. The " other selves " refers to 
the fellow* students. Unless the greatest 
harmony reigns among the learners, no 
success is possible. It is the teacher who 
makes the selections according to the 
magnetic and electric natures of the 
students, bringing together and adjusting 


most carefully the positive and the 
negative elements.] 

4. The upasaka while studying must 
take care to be united as the ringers on 
one hand. Thou shalt impress upon 
their minds that whatever hurts one 
should hurt the others ; and if the re 
joicing of one finds no echo in the 
breasts of the others, then the required 
conditions are absent, and it is useless 
to proceed. 

[This can hardly happen if the pre 
liminary choice made was consistent with 
the magnetic requirements. It is known 
that chelas otherwise promising and fit for 
the reception of truth, had to wait for 
years on account of their temper and the 
impossibility they felt to put themselves in 
tnne with their companions. For ] 


5. The co-disciples must be tuned 
by the guru as the strings of a lute 
(vina), each different from the others, 
yet each emitting sounds in harmony 
with all. Collectively they must form 
a key-board answering in all its parts to 
thy lightest touch (the touch of the 
Master). Thus their minds shall open 
for the harmonies of Wisdom, to vibrate 
as knowledge through each and all, 
resulting in effects pleasing to the pre 
siding gods (tutelary or patron-angels) 
and useful to the Lanoo. So shall 
Wisdom be impressed for ever on their 
hearts and the harmony of the law shall 
never be broken. 

6. Those who desire to acquire the 
knowledge leading to the Siddhis (occult 


powers) have to renounce all the vani 
ties of life and of the world (here fol 
lows enumeration of the Siddhis). 

7. None can feel the difference be 
tween himself and his fellow-students, 
such as " I am the wisest," " I am 
more holy and pleasing to the teacher, 
or in my community, than my brother," 
etc., and remain an upasaka. His 
thoughts must be predominantly fixed 
upon his heart, chasing therefrom every 
hostile thought to any living being. It 
(the heart) must be full of the feeling 
of its non-separateness from the rest of 
beings as from all in Nature ; otherwise 
no success can follow. 

8. A Lanoo (disciple) has to dread 
external living influence alone (magnetic 


emanations from living creatures). For 
this reason, while at one with all, in 
his inner nature, he must take care to 
separate his outer (external) body from 
every foreign influence : none must 
drink out of, or eat in his cup but him 
self. He must avoid bodily contact 
(i.e., being touched or touch) with 
human, as with animal being. 

[No pet animals are permitted, and it is 
forbidden even to touch certain trees and 
plants. A disciple has to live, so to say, 
in his own atmosphere in order to in 
dividualise it for occult purposes.] 

9. The mind must remain blunt to 
all but the universal truths in nature, 
lest the " Doctrine of the ,Hp%t tl 
should become only the " D0i^^*ol 
the Eye " (i.e., empty exoteri^/^yalism) . 


10. No animal food of whatever kind, 
nothing that has life in it, should be 
taken by the disciple. No wine, no 
spirits or opium should be used ; for 
these are like the Lhamaym (evil 
spirits), who fasten upon the unwary, 
the.} devour the understanding. 

[Wine and Spirits are supposed to 
contain and preserve the bad magnetism of 
all the men who helped in their fabrication ; 
the meat of each animal, to preserve the 
psychic characteristics of its kind.] 

11. Meditation, abstinence, the ob 
servation of moral duties, gentle 
thoughts, good deeds and kind words, 
as goodwill to all and entire oblivion of 
Self, are the most efficacious means of 
obtaining knowledge and preparing for 
the reception of higher wisdom. 


12. It is only by virtue of a strict 
observance of the foregoing rules that a 
Lanoo can hope to acquire in good 
time the Siddhis of the Arhats, the 
growth which makes him become gradu 
ally One with the UNIVERSAL ALL. 

These 12 extracts are taken from 
among some 73 rules, to enumerate 
which would be useless as they would be 
meaningless in Europe. But even these 
few are enough to show the immensity 
of the difficulties which beset the path 
of the would-be " Upasaka," who has 
been born and bred in Western lands. 1 

1 Be it remembered that all "Chelas," even 
lay disciples, are called Upasaka until after their 
first initiation, when they become Lanoo-Upasaka. 
To that day, even those who belong to Lamaseries 
and are set apart, are considered as " laymen." 


All Western, and especially English, 
education is instinct with the principle 
of emulation and strife ; each boy is 
urged to learn more quickly, to outstrip 
his companions, and to surpass them in 
every possible way. What is mis-called 
" friendly rivalry " is assiduously culti 
vated, and the same spirit is fostered 
and strengthened in every detail of life. 
With such ideas " educated into " 
him from his childhood, how can a 
Western bring himself to feel towards 
his co-students " as the fingers on one 
hand " ? Those co-students, too, are 
not of his own selection, or chosen by 
himself from personal sympathy and 
appreciation. They are chosen by his 
teacher on far other grounds, and he 


who would be a student must first be 
strong enough to kill out in his heart 
all feelings of dislike and antipathy to 
others. How many Westerns are ready 
even to attempt this in earnest ? 

And then the details of daily life, the 
command not to touch even the hand 
of one s nearest and dearest. How- 
contrary to Western notions of affection 
and good feeling ! How cold and hard 
it seems. Egotistical too, people would 
say, to abstain from giving pleasure to 
others for the sake of one s own 
development. Well, let those who think 
so defer till another lifetime the attempt 
to enter the path in real earnest. But 
let them not glory in their own fancied 
unselfishness. For, in reality, it is only 


the seeming appearances which they 
allow to deceive them, the conventional 
notions, based on emotionalism and 
gush, or so-called courtesy, things of 
the unreal life, not the dictates of 

But even putting aside these diffi 
culties, which may be considered " ex 
ternal," though their importance is 
none the less great, how are students 
in the West to " attune themselves " 
to harmony as here required of them ? 
So strong has personality grown in 
Europe and America, that there is no 
school of artists even whose members 
do not hate and are not jealous of each 
other. " Professional " hatred and 
envy have become proverbial ; men seek 


each to benefit himself at all costs, 
and even the so-called courtesies of life 
are but a hollow mask covering these 
demons of hatred and jealousy. 

In the East the spirit of " non- 
separateness " is inculcated as steadily 
from childhood up, as in the West the 
spirit of rivalry. Personal ambition, 
personal feelings and desires, are not 
encouraged to grow so rampant there. 
When the soil is naturally good, it is 
cultivated in the right way, and the child 
grows into a man in whom the habit 
of subordination of one s lower to one s 
higher Self is strong and powerful. 
In the West men think that their 
own likes and dislikes of other men 
and things are guiding principles for 


them to act upon, even when they do 
not make of them the law of their 
lives and seek to impose them upon 

Let those who complain that they 
have learned little in the Theosophical 
Society lay to heart the words written 
in an article in the Path for last 
February: " The key in each degree is 
the aspirant himself." It is not " the 
fear of God " which is " the beginning 
of Wisdom," but the knowledge of 


How grand and true appears, thus, 
to the student of Occultism who has 
commenced to realise some of the 
foregoing truths, the answer given by 
the Delphic Oracle to all who came 


seeking after Occult Wisdom words 
repeated and enforced again and again 
by the wise Socrates : MAN KNOW 
THYSELF. . . . 


"I oft have heard, but ne er believed till now, 
There are, who can by potent magic spells 
Bend to their crooked purpose Nature s 
laws." MILTON. 

TN this month s "Correspondence" 
several letters testify to the strong 
impression produced on some minds 
by our last month s article, Practi 
cal Occultism. Such letters go far to 
prove and strengthen two logical con 

(a) There are more well-educated 
and thoughtful men who believe in the 
existence of Occultism and Magic (the 



two differing vastly) than the m 
materialist dreams of ; and 

(6) That most of the believers 
prising many Theosophists) ha 
definite idea of the nature of 
ism, and confuse it with the ( 
sciences in general, the " Black 

Their representations of the p 
it confers upon man, and of the i 
to be used to acquire them, ; 
varied as they are fanciful, 
imagine that a master in the ; 
show the way, is all that is nee< 
become a Zanoni. Others, tha 
has but to cross the Canal of Sue 
go to India to bloom forth as a 
Bacon or even a Count St. Gei 


Many take for their ideal, Margrave with 
his ever-renewing youth, and care little 
for the soul as the price paid for it. Not 
a few, mistaking " Witch-of-Endor- 
ism," pure and simple, for Occultism 
" through the yawning Earth from 
Stygian gloom, call up the meagre 
ghosts to walks of light," and want, on 
the strength of this feat, to be regarded 
as full-blown Adepts. " Ceremonial 
Magic," according to the rules mock 
ingly laid down by Eliphas Levi, is 
another imagined alter ego of the philo 
sophy of the Arhats of old. In short, 
the prisms through which Occultism 
appears, to those innocent of the philo 
sophy, are as multicoloured and varied 
as human fancy can make them. 


Will these candidates to Wisdom and 
Power feel very indignant if told the 
plain truth ? It is not only useful, but 
it has now become necessary to dis 
abuse most of them, and before it is 
too late. This truth may be said in- a 
few words : There are not in the West 
half-a-dozen among the fervent hund 
reds who call themselves " Occultists " 
who have even an approximately correct 
idea of the nature of the science they 
seek to master. With a few exceptions, 
they are all on the highway to Sorcery. 
Let them restore some order in the 
chaos that reigns in their minds before 
they protest against this statement. Let 
them first learn the true relation in 
which the Occult Sciences stand to 


Occultism, and the difference bet 
ween the two, and then feel wrathful 
if they still think themselves right. 
Meanwhile, let them learn that Occult 
ism differs from Magic and other secret 
Sciences as the glorious sun does from 
a rush-light, as the immutable and im 
mortal Spirit of Man the reflection of 
the absolute, causeless and unknowable 
ALL differs from the mortal clay the 
human body. 

In our highly civilised West, where 
modern languages have been formed, 
and words coined, in the wake of ideas 
and thoughts as happened with every 
tongue the more the latter became 
materialised in the cold atmosphere of 
Western selfishness and its incessant 


chase after the goods of this world, the 
less was there any need felt for the 
production of new terms to express 
that which was tacitly regarded as 
absolute and exploded " superstition." 
Such words could answer only to ideas 
which a cultured man was scarcely 
supposed to harbour in his mind. 

" Magic," a synonym for jugglery ; 
" Sorcery/ an equivalent for crass 
ignorance ; and " Occultism," the sorry 
relic of crack-brained, mediaeval Fire- 
philosophers, of the Jacob Boehmes 
and the St. Martins, are expressions 
believed more than amply sufficient to 
cover the wjhole field of " thimble- 
rigging-" They are terms of contempt, 
arid used generally only yi reference to 


the dross and residues of the dark ages 
and its preceding aeons of paganism. 
Therefore have we no terms in the 
English tongue to define and shade 
the difference between such abnormal 
powers, or the sciences that lead to the 
acquisitions of them, with the nicety 
possible in the Eastern languages 
pre-eminently the Sanskrit. What do 
the words " miracle " and " enchant 
ment " (words identical in meaning 
after all, as both express the idea of 
producing wonderful things by breaking 
the laws of nature (!!) as explained by 
the accepted authorities) convey to the 
minds of those who hear, or who pro 
nounce them ? A Christian " breaking 
of the laws of nature " notwithstanding 


while believing firmly in the miracles, 
because said to have been produced by 
God through Moses, will either scout 
the enchantments performed by Pha 
raoh s magicians, or attribute them to 
the devil. It is the latter whom our 
pious enemies connect with Occultism, 
while their impious foes, the infidels, 
laugh at Moses, Magicians, and Occult 
ists, and would blush to give one 
serious thought to such " superstitions." 
This, because there is no term in exist 
ence to show the difference ; no words 
to express the lights and shadows, and 
draw the line of demarcation between 
the sublime and the true, the absurd 
and the ridiculous. The latter are the 
theological interpretations which teach 


the " breaking of the laws of Nature " 
by man, God, or devil ; the former the 
scientific " miracles " and enchantments 
of Moses and the Magicians in accor 
dance with natural laws, both having 
been learned in all the Wisdom of the 
Sanctuaries, which were the " Royal 
Societies " of those days and in true 
OCCULTISM. This last word is 
certainly misleading, translated as it 
stands from the compound word Gupta- 
Vidya, " Secret Knowledge." But the 
knowledge of what ? Some of the 
Sanskrit terms may help us. 

There are four (out of the many 
other) names of the various kinds of 
Esoteric Knowledge or Sciences given, 
even in the exoteric Puranas. There is 


(1) Yajna-Vidya, 1 knowledge of the 
occult powers awakened in nature by 
the performance of certain religious 
ceremonies and rites. (2) Mahavidya, 

1 "The Yajna," say the Brahmans, "exists 
from eternity, for it proceeded forth from the 
Supreme One ... in whom it lay dormant from 
no beginning. It is the key to the TRAIVIDYA, 
the thrice sacred science contained in the Rig 
verses, which teaches the Yagus or sacrificial 
mysteries. The Yajna exists as an invisible 
thing at all times ; it is like the latent power of 
electricity in an electrifying machine, requiring 
only the operation of a suitable apparatus in 
order to be elicited. It is supposed to extend 
from the Ahayaniya or sacrificial fire to the 
heavens, forming a bridge or ladder by means of 
which the sacrificer can communicate with the 
world of gods and spirits, and even ascend when 
alive to their abodes." Martin Haug s Aitareya 

1 This Yajna is again one of the forms of the 
Akasa ; and the mystic word calling it into ex 
istence and pronounced mentally by the initiated 
Priest is the Lost Word receiving impulse through 
WILL POWER." " Isis Unveiled," vol. i, Intr. 
See Aitareya Brahmana, Haug, 


the " great knowledge," the magic of 
the Kabalists and of the Tantrika 
worship, often Sorcery of the worst 
description. (3) Guhya-Vidya, know 
ledge of the mystic powers residing in 
Sound (Ether), hence in the Mantras 
(chanted prayers or incantations), and 
depending on the rhythm and melody 
used ; in other words, a magical per 
formance based on knowledge of the 
Forces of Nature and their correlation ; 
and (4) ATMA-VIDYA, a term which is 
translated simply " Knowledge of the 
Soul," true Wisdom by the Orientalists, 
but which means far more. 

This last is the only kind of Occult 
ism that any Theosophist who admires 
" Light on the Path/ and who would 


be wise and unselfish, ought to strive 
after. All the rest is some branch of 
the " Occult Sciences," i.e., arts based 
on the knowledge of the ultimate es 
sence of all things in the Kingdoms of 
Nature such as minerals, plants and 
animals hence of things pertaining 
to the realm of material nature, how 
ever invisible that essence may be, and 
howsoever much it has hitherto eluded 
the grasp of Science. Alchemy, Astro 
logy, Occult Physiology, Chiromancy, 
exist in Nature, and the exact Sciences 
perhaps so called, because they are 
found in this age of paradoxical philo 
sophies the reverse have already dis 
covered not a few of the above 
arts. But clairvoyance, symbolised in 


India as the. " Eye of Siva," called in 
Japan, " Infinite Vision," is not Hypno 
tism, the illegitimate son of Mesmerism, 
and is not to be acquired by such arts. 
All the others may be mastered and 
results obtained, whether good, bad, 
or indifferent; but Atma-Vidya sets 
small value on them. It includes them 
all and may even use them occasionally, 
but it does so after purifying them of 
their dross, for beneficent purposes, and 
taking care to deprive them of every 
element of selfish motive. Let us ex 
plain : Any man or woman can set 
himself or herself to study one or all of 
the above specified " Occult Arts " 
without any great previous preparation, 
and even without adopting any tod 


restraining mode of life. One could 
even dispense with any lofty standard 
of morality. In the last case, of course, 
ten to one the student would blossom 
into a very decent kind of sorcerer, and 
tumble down headlong into black 
magic. But what can this matter ? 
The Voodoos and the Dugpas eat, 
drink, and are merry over hecatombs 
of victims of their infernal arts. And 
so do the amiable gentlemen vivisec- 
tionists and the diploma-ed " Hypno- 
tisers " of the Faculties of Medicine ; 
the only difference between the two 
classes being that the Voodoos and 
Dugpas are conscious^ and the Charcot- 
Richet crew unconscious, Sorcerers. 
Thus, since both have to reap the 


fruits of their labours and achievements 
in the black art, the Western practi 
tioners should not have the punishment 
and reputation without the profits and 
enjoyments they may get therefrom. For 
we say it again, hypnotism and vivisec 
tion as practised in such Schools, are 
Sorcery pure and simple, minus a knowl 
edge that the Voodoos and Dugpas en 
joy, and which no Charcot-Richet can 
procure for himself in fifty years of 
hard study and experimental observa 
tion. Let, then, those who will dabble 
in magic, whether they understand its 
nature or not, but who find the rules 
imposed upon students too hard, and 
who, therefore, lay Atma-Vidya or 
Occultism aside go without it. Let 


them become magicians by all means, 
even though they do become Voodoos 
and Dugpas for the next ten incar 

But the interest of our readers will 
probably centre on those who are in 
vincibly attracted towards the " Occult," 
yet who neither realise the true nature 
of what they aspire towards, nor have 
they become, passion-proof, far less, 
truly unselfish. 

How about these unfortunates, we 
shall be asked, who are thus rent in 
twain by conflicting forces ? For it has 
been said too often to need repetition, 
and the fact itself is patent to any 
observer, that when once the desire for 
Occultism has really .awakened in a 


man s heart, there remains for him no 
hope of peace, no place of rest and 
comfort in all the world. He is driven 
out into the wild and desolate spaces 
of life by an ever-gnawing unrest he 
cannot quell. His heart is too full of 
passion and selfish desire to permit him 
to pass the Golden Gate ; he cannot 
find rest or peace in ordinary life. 
Must he then inevitably fall into sorcery 
and black magic, and through many in 
carnations heap up for himself a terrible 
Karma ? Is there no other road for 
him ? 

Indeed there is, we answer. Let him 

aspire to no higher than he feels able 

to accomplish. Let him not take a 

burden upon himself too heavy for him 



to carry. Without ever becoming a 
61 Mahatma," a Buddha or a Great 
Saint, let him study the philosophy and 
the " Science of Soul/ and he can be 
come one of the modest benefactors of 
humanity, without any " superhuman " 
powers. Siddhis (or the Arhat powers) 
are only for those who are able to 
" lead the life, to comply with the 
terrible sacrifices required for such a 
training, and to comply with them to 
the very letter. Let them know at once 
and remember always, that true Occult 
ism or Theosophy is the " Great Re 
nunciation of SELF," unconditionally 
and absolutely, in thought as in action. 
It is ALTRUISM, and it throws him who 
practises it out of calculation of the 


ranks of the living altogether. " Not 
for himself, but for the world, he lives," 
as soon as he has pledged himself to 
the work. Much is forgiven during the 
first years of probation. But no sooner 
is he " accepted " than his personality 
must disappear, and he has to become 
a mere beneficent force in Natiire. 
There are two poles for him after that, 
two paths, and no mid ward place of 
rest. He has either to ascend laborious 
ly, step by step, often through numer 
ous incarnations and no Devachanic 
break, the golden ladder leading to 
Mahatmaship (theArhat* 
condition), or he will let 
down the ladder at the first fa^se step, 
and roll down into Dugpash^.^. * .. , 

.: g 



All this is either unknown or left out 
of sight altogether. Indeed, one who 
is able to follow the silent evolution of 
the preliminary aspirations of the candi 
dates often finds strange ideas quietly 
taking possession of their minds. There 
are those whose reasoning powers have 
been so distorted by foreign influences 
that they imagine that animal passions 
can be so sublimated and elevated that 
their fury, force, and fire can, so to 
speak, be turned inwards ; that they 
can be stored and shut up in one s 
breast, until their energy is, not ex 
panded, but turned toward higher and 
more holy purposes : namely, until their 
collective and unexpanded strength 
enables their possessor to enter the true 


Sanctuary of the Soul and stand therein 
in the presence of the Master the 
HIGHER SELF. For this purpose they 
will not struggle with their passions 
nor slay them. They will simply, by a 
strong effort of will, put down the fierce 
flames and keep them at bay within 
their natures, allowing the fire to 
smoulder under a thin layer of ashes. 
They submit joyfully to the torture of 
of the Spartan boy who allowed the fox 
to devour his entrails rather than part 
with it. Oh, poor blind visionaries ! 

As well hope that a band of drunken 
chimney-sweeps, hot and greasy from 
their work, may be shut up in a Sanctu 
ary hung with pure white linen, and 
that instead of soiling and turning it by 


their presence into a heap of dirty 
shreds, they will become masters in and 
of the sacred recess, and finally emerge 
from it as immaculate as that recess. 
Why not imagine that a dozen of 
skunks imprisoned in the pure atmos 
phere of a Dgon-pa (a monastery) can 
issue out of it impregnated with all the 
perfumes of the incenses used ? . . . 
Strange aberration of the human mind. 
Can it be so ? Let us argue. 

The "Master" in the Sanctuary of 
our souls is " the Higher Self " the 
divine spirit whose consciousness is 
based upon and derived solely (at any 
rate during the mortal life of the man 
in whom it is captive) from the Mind, 
which we have agreed to call the Human 


Soul (the " Spiritual Soul " being the 
vehicle of the Spirit). In its turn the 
former (the personal or human soul) 
is a compound, in its highest form, of 
spiritual aspirations, volitions, and 
divine love ; and in its lower aspect, of 
animal desires and terrestrial passions 
imparted to it by its associations with 
its vehicle, the seat of all these. It 
thus stands as a link and a medium be 
tween the animal nature of man which 
its higher reason seeks to subdue, and 
his divine spiritual nature to which it 
gravitates, whenever it has the upper 
hand in its struggle with the inner 
animal. The latter is the instinctual 
" animal Soul," and is the hotbed of 
those passions which, as just shown, 


are lulled instead of being killed, and 
locked up in their breasts by some im 
prudent enthusiasts. Do they still hope 
to turn thereby the muddy stream of 
the animal sewer into the crystalline 
waters of life ? And where, on what 
neutral ground, can they be imprisoned 
so as not to affect man ? The fierce 
passions of love and lust are still 
alive, and they are allowed to still 
remain in the place of their birth that 
same animal soul ; for both the higher 
and the lower portions of the " Human 
Soul " or Mind reject such inmates, 
though they cannot avoid being tainted 
with them as neighbours. The " High 
er Self " or Spirit is as unable to 
Assimilate such feelings as water to get 


mixed with oil or unclean liquid tallow. 
It is thus the mind alone the sole link 
and medium between the man of earth 
and the Higher Self that is the only 
sufferer, and which is in incessant 
danger of being dragged down by those 
passions that may be reawakened at 
any moment, and perish in the abyss 
of matter. And how can it ever attune 
itself to the divine harmony of the 
highest Principle, when that harmony 
is destroyed by the mere presence, 
within the Sanctuary in preparation, of 
such animal passions ? How can har 
mony prevail and conquer, when the 
soul is stained and distracted with the 
turmoil of passions and the terrestrial 


desires of the bodily senses, or even of 
the "Astral man" ? 

For this " Astral " the shadowy 
61 double " (in the animal as in man) is 
not the companion of the divine Ego 
but of the earthly body. It is the link 
between the personal SELF, the lower 
consciousness of Manas and the Body, 
and is the vehicle of transitory, not of 
immortal life. Like the shadow pro 
jected by man, it follows his move 
ments and impulses slavishly and 
mechanically, and leans therefore to 
matter without ever ascending to Spirit. 
It is only when the power of the pas 
sions is dead altogether, and when they 
have been crushed and annihilated in 
the retort of an unflinching will ; when 


not only all the lusts and longings of 
the flesh are dead, but also the recogni 
tion of the personal Self is killed out 
and the " Astral " has been reduced in 
consequence to a cipher, that the Union 
with the " Higher Self" can take place. 
Then when the " Astral " reflects only 
the conquered man, the still living but 
no more the longing, selfish personal 
ity, then the brilliant Augoeides, the 
divine SELF, can vibrate in con 
scious harmony with both the poles 
of the human Entity the man of 
matter purified, and the ever pure 
Spiritual Soul and stand in the 
presence of the MASTER SELF, the 
Christos of the mystic Gnostic, blended, 


merged into, and one with IT for 
ever. 1 

How, then, can it be thought possi 
ble for a man to enter the " strait 
gate " of occultism when his daily and 
hourly thoughts are bound up with 
worldly things, desires of possession 
and power, with lust, ambition, and 
duties which, however honourable, are 
still of the earth earthy ? Even the 
love for wife and family the purest 

1 Those who would feel inclined to see three 
Egos in one man will show themselves unable to 
perceive the metaphysical meaning. Man is a 
trinity composed of Body, Soul, and Spirit ; but 
man is nevertheless one, and is surely not his 
body. It is the latter which is the property, the 
transitory clothing of the man. The three 
Egos are MAN in his three aspects on the 
astral, intellectual or psychic, and the Spiritual 


as the most unselfish of human affec 
tions is a barrier to real occultism. 
For whether we take as an example 
the holy love of a mother for her child, 
or that of a husband for his wife, even 
in these feelings, when analysed to the 
very bottom, and thoroughly sifted, 
there is still selfishness in the first, and 
an egoisme a deux in the second in 
stance. What mother would not sacri 
fice without a moment s hesitation 
hundreds and thousands of lives for 
that of the child of her heart? and 
what lover or true husband would not 
break the happiness of every other man 
and woman around him to satisfy the 
desire of one whom he loves ? This is 
but natural, we shall be told. Quite 


so, in the light of the code of human 
affections ; less so, in that of divine 
universal love. For, while the heart is 
full of thoughts for a little group of 
selves, near and dear to us, how shall 
the rest of mankind fare in our souls ? 
What percentage of love and care will 
there remain to bestow on the " great 
orphan " ? And how shall the " still 
small voice " make itself heard in a 
soul entirely occupied with its own 
privileged tenants ? What room is there 
left for the needs of Humanity en bloc 
to impress themselves upon, or even 
receive a speedy response ? And yet, he 
who would profit by the wisdom of 
the universal mind, has to reach it 
through the whole of Humanity without 


distinction of race, complexion, religion, 
or social status. It is altruism, not 
ego-ism even in its most legal and noble 
conception, that can lead the unit to 
merge its little Self in the Universal 
Selves. It is to these needs and to this 
work that the true disciple of true 
Occultism has to devote himself if he 
would obtain &eo-sophy, divine Wis 
dom and Knowledge. 

The aspirant has to choose absolutely 
between the life of the world and the 
life of occultism. It is useless and vain 
to endeavour to unite the two, for no 
one can serve two masters and satisfy 
both. No one can serve his body and the 
higher Soul, and do his family duty and 
his universal duty, without depriving 


either one or the other of its rights ; 
for he will either lend his ear to the 
" still small voice " and fail to hear the 
cries of his little ones, or, he will listen 
but to the wants of the latter and 
remain deaf to the voice of Humanity. 
It would be a ceaseless, a madderiing 
struggle for almost any married man, 
who would pursue true practical Occult 
ism, instead of its theoretical philo 
sophy. For he would find himself ever 
hesitating between the voice of the im 
personal divine love of Humanity, and 
that of the personal, terrestrial love. 
And this could only lead him to fail in 
one or the other, or perhaps in both his 
duties. Worse than this. For, whoever 
indulges, after having pledged himself 


to OCCULTISM, in the gratification of 
a terrestrial love or htst, must feel an 
almost immediate result that of being 
irresistibly dragged from the impersonal 
divine state down to the lower plane of 
matter. Sensual, or even mental, self- 
gratification involves the immediate loss 
of the powers of spiritual discernment ; 
the voice of the MASTER can no longer 
be distinguished from that of one s pas 
sions, or even that of a Dugpa ; the 
right from wrong ; sound morality from 
mere casuistry. The Dead Sea fruit 
assumes the most glorious mystic ap 
pearance, only to turn to ashes on the 
lips, and to gall in the heart, resulting in : 

"Depth ever deepening, darkness 
darkening still ; 


Folly for wisdom, guilt for innocence ; 
Anguish for rapture, and for hope 

And once being mistaken and having 
acted on their mistakes, most men 
shrink from realising their error, and 
thus descend deeper and deeper into the 
mire. And, although it is the intention 
that decides primarily whether white or 
black magic is exercised, yet the results 
even of involuntary, unconscious sor 
cery cannot fail to be productive of bad 
Karma. Enough has been said to show 
that sorcery is any kind of evil influ 
ence exercised upon other persons, who 
suffer, or make other persons suffer, in 
consequence. Karma is a heavy stone 
splashed in the quiet waters of Life ; 


and it must produce ever widening cir 
cles of ripples, carried wider and wider, 
almost ad infinitum. Such causes pro 
duced have to call forth effects and 
these are evidenced in the just laws of 

Much of this may be avoided if 
people will only abstain from rushing 
into practices neither the nature nor 
importance of which they understand. 
No one is expected to carry a burden 
beyond his strength and powers. There 
are " natural born magicians " ; Mystics 
and Occultists by birth, and by right of 
direct inheritance from a series of in 
carnations and aeons of suffering and 
failures. These are passion-proof, so 
to say. No fires of earthly origin can 


fan into a flame any of their senses or 
desires ; no human voice can find res 
ponse in their souls, except the great 
cry of Humanity. These only may be 
certain of success. But they can be 
met only far and wide, and they pass 
through the narrow gates of Occultism 
because they carry no personal luggage 
of human transitory sentiments along 
with them. They have got rid of the 
feeling of the lower personality, para 
lysed thereby the " astral " animal, and 
the golden, but narrow gate is thrown 
open before them. Not so with those 
who have to carry yet for several incar 
nations the burden of sins committed 
in previous lives, and even in their pre 
sent existence. For such, unless they 


proceed with great caution, the golden 
gate of Wisdom may get transformed 
into the wide gate and the broad way 
"that leadeth unto destruction," and 
therefore " many be they that enter in 
thereby." This is the Gate of the 
Occult arts, practised for selfish motives 
and , in the absence of the restraining 
and beneficent influence of ATMA- 
VIDYA. We are in the Kali Yuga and 
its fatal influence is a thousandfold 
more powerful in the West than it is in 
the East ; hence the easy preys made 
by the Powers of the Age of Darkness 
in this cyclic struggle, and the many 
delusions under which the world is now 
labouring. One of these is the relative 
facility with which men fancy they can 


get at the " Gate " and cross the thresh 
old of Occultism without any great 
sacrifice. It is the* dream of most 
Theosophists, one inspired by desire for 
power and personal selfishness, and it is 
not such feelings that can ever lead 
them to the coveted goal. For, as well 
said by one believed to have sacrificed 
himself for Humanity " narrow is the 
gate and straitened the way that leadeth 
unto life " eternal, and therefore " few 
be they that find it." So strait indeed, 
that at the bare mention of some of the 
preliminary difficulties the affrighted 
Western candidates turn back and 
retreat with a shudder. . . . 

Let them stop here and attempt no 
more in their great weakness. For if 


while turning their backs on the 
narrow gate, they are dragged by their 
desire for the Occult one step in the 
direction of the broad and more inviting 
Gates of that golden mystery which 
glitters in the light of illusion, woe to 
them ! It can lead only to Dugpaship, 
and they will be sure to find themselves 
very soon landed on that Via Fatah 
of the Inferno, over whose portal Dante 
read the words : 

Per tne si va nella citta dolente 
Per me si va neW eterno dolore 
Per me si va tra la perduta genie. . ." 



THE quotations of which the following 
article is composed were not originally 
extracted with a view to publication, 
and may therefore appear somewhat 

They were first published as a Theo- 
sophical Sifting, in the hope that read 
ers might take the hint, and make daily 
books of extracts for themselves, thus 
preserving a lasting record of the books 
read, and rendering their reading of 
practical value. By following this plan, 
the reader would concentrate in a brief 


space whatever has appealed to him as 
being the essence of the book. 

The plan of reading a set of quota 
tions each morning, trying to live up to 
them during the day, and meditating 
upon them in leisure moments, is also 
suggested as helpful to the earnest 

O ISE early, as soon as you are 
awake, without lying idly in bed, 
half-waking and half-dreaming. Then 
earnestly pray that all mankind may be 
spiritually regenerated, that those who 
are struggling on the path of truth may 
be encouraged by your prayers and 
work more earnestly and successfully, 
and that you may be strengthened and 
not yield to the seductions of the 
senses. Picture before your mind the 
form of your Master as engaged in 
Samadhi, Fix it before you, fill in all 


the details, think of him with rever 
ence, and pray that all mistakes of 
omission and commission may be for 
given. This will greatly facilitate con 
centration, purify your heart, and do 
much more. Or reflect upon the 
defects of your character : thoroughly 
realise their evils and the transient 
pleasures they give you, and firmly will 
that you shall try your best not to yield 
to them the next time. This self- 
analysis and bringing yourself before 
the bar of your own conscience facili 
tates, in a degree hitherto undreamt of, 
your spiritual progress. When you 
bathe, exercise during the whole time 
your will, that your moral impurities 
should be washed away with those of 


your body. In your relations with 
others observe the following rules. 
1. Never do anything which you are not 
bound to do as your duty ; that is, any 
unnecessary thing. Before you do a 
thing, think whether it is your duty to 
do it. 2. Never speak an unnecessary 
word. Think of the effects your words 
might produce before you give utter 
ance to them. Never allow yourself to 
violate your principles by the force of 
your company. 3. Never allow any 
unnecessary or vain thought to occupy 
your mind. This is more easily said 
than done. You cannot make your 
mind a blank all at once. So in the 
beginning try to prevent evil or idle 
thoughts by occupying your mind with 


the analysis of your own faults, or the 
contemplation of the Perfect Ones. 
4. During meals exercise your will, that 
your food should be properly digested 
and build for you a body in harmony 
with your spiritual aspirations, and not 
create evil passion and wicked thoughts. 
Eat only when you are hungry and 
drink when you are thirsty, and never 
otherwise. If some particular prepara 
tion attracts your palate, do not allow 
yourself to be seduced into taking it 
simply to gratify that craving. Remem 
ber that the pleasure you derive from 
it had no existence some seconds be 
fore, and that it will cease to exist 
some seconds afterwards ; that it is a 
transient pleasure ? that that which is a 


pleasure now will turn into pain if you 
take it in large quantities ; that it gives 
pleasure only to the tongue^ that if you 
are put to a great trouble to get that 
thing, and if you allow yourself to be 
seduced by it, you will not be ashamed 
at any thing to get it ; that while there 
is another object that can give you 
eternal bliss, this centering your affec 
tions on a transient thing is sheer folly ; 
that you are neither the body nor the 
sense, and therefore the pleasure and 
the pains which these endure can never 
affect you really, and so on. Practise 
the same train of reasoning in the case 
of every other temptation, and, though 
you will often fail, yet you will achieve 
a surer success. Do not read much. If 


you read for ten minutes, reflect for as 
many hours. Habituate yourself to 
solitude, and to remaining alone with 
your thoughts. 

Accustom yourself to the thought that 
no one beside yourself can assist you, 
and wean away your affections from all 
things gradually. Before you sleep, pray 
as you did in the morning. Review the 
actions of the day, and see wherein you 
have failed, and resolve that you will 
not fail in them to-morrow. 1 


THE right motive for seeking self- 
knowledge is that which pertains to 
1 Theosophist, August 89, p. 647. 


knowledge and not to self. Self 
-knowledge is worth seeking by virtue 
of its being knowledge, and not by 
virtue of its pertaining to self. The 
main requisite for acquiring self-know 
ledge is pure love. Seek knowledge for 
pure love, and self-knowledge eventually 
crowns the effort. The fact of a student 
growing impatient is proof positive that 
he works for reward, and not for love, 
and that, in its turn proves that he 
does not deserve the great victory in 
store for those who really work for 
pure love. 1 

The "God" in us that is to say, 
the Spirit of Love and Truth, Justice 
and Wisdom, Goodness and Power 
1 Theosophist, August 89, p. 663, 


should be our only true and permanent 
Love, our only reliance in everything, 
our only Fa4th, which, standing firm 
as a rock, can for ever be trusted ; our 
only Hope, which will never fail us if 
all other things perish ; and the only 
object which we must seek to obtain, 
by our Patience, waiting contentedly 
until our evil Karma has been exhausted 
and the divine Redeemer will reveal to 
us his presence within our soul. The 
door through which he enters is called 
Contentment ; for he who is disconten 
ted with himself is discontented with 
the law that made him such as he is ; 
and as God is Himself the Law, God will 
not come to those that are discontented 


with Him. 1 If we admit that we are in 
the stream of evolution, then each 
circumstance must be to us quite right. 
And in our failure to perform set acts 
should be our greatest help, for we can 
in no other way learn that calmness 
which Krishna insists upon. If all our 
plans succeeded, then no contrasts 
would appear to us. Also those plans 
we make may all be made ignorantly, 
and thus wrongly, and kind Nature will 
not permit us to carry them out. We 
get no blame for the plan, but we may 
acquire karmic demerit by not accept 
ing the impossibility of achieving. If 
you are at all cast down, then by just 

1 Theosophical Sift ings No. 8, vol. ii, p. 9, 


that much are your thoughts lessened in 
power. One could be confined in a 
prison and yet be a worker for the cause. 
So I pray you to remove from your 
mind any distaste for present circum 
stances. If you can succeed in looking 
at it all as just what you in fact desir 
ed, 1 then it will act not only as a 
strengthener of your thoughts, but will 
act reflexly on your body and make it 
stronger. 2 

To act and act wisely when the time 
for action comes, to wait and wait 
patiently when it is time for repose, 
put man in accord with the rising and 

1<f yow" meaning the Higher Self. We are 
as we make ourselves. 

2 Path, August 89, p. 131. 


tides (of affairs), so that with 

and law at his back, and truth 

sneficence as his beacon light, he 

:complish wonders. Ignorance of 

,w results in periods of unreason- 

thusiasm on the one hand, and 

sion and even despair on the 

Man thus becomes the victim 

tides when he should be their 
. i 

e patience, Candidate, as one who 
LO failure, courts no success. 2 
umulated energy cannot be an 
ted, it must be transferred to 
forms, or be transformed into 
modes of motion ; it cannot 

h, July 89, p. 107. 

ce of the Silence, p. 31. 


remain for ever inactive and yet continue 
to exist. It is useless to attempt to 
resist a passion which we cannot con 
trol. If its accumulating energy is not 
led into other channels, it will grow 
until it becomes stronger than will, and 
stronger than reason. To control it, 
you must lead it into another and 
higher channel. Thus a love for some 
thing vulgar may be changed by turning 
it into a love for something high, and 
vice may be changed into virtue by 
changing its aim-. Passion is blind, it 
goes where it is led, and reason is a 
safer guide for it than the instinct. 
Stored up anger (or love) will find 
some object upon which to spend its 
fury, else it may produce an explosion 


destructive to its possessor ; tranquillity 
follows a storm. The ancients said that 
nature suffers no vacuum. We cannot 
destroy or annihilate a passion. If it is 
driven away, another elemental influ 
ence will take its place. We should 
therefore not attempt to destroy the 
low without putting something in its 
place, but we should displace the low 
by the high ; vice by virtue, and super 
stition by knowledge. 1 


LEARN that there is no cure for desire, 
no cure for the love of reward, no cure 
for the misery of longing, save in the 
1 Magic, p. 126, Hartmann. 


fixing of the sight and hearing on that 
which is invisible and soundless. 1 

A man must believe in his innate 
power of progress. A man must refuse 
to be terrified by his greater nature, 
and must not be drawn back by his 
lesser or material self. 2 

All the past shows us that difficulty 
is no excuse for dejection, much less 
for despair, else the world would have 
been without the many wonders of 
civilisation. 3 

Strength to step forward is the pri 
mary need of him who has chosen his 
path. Where is this to be found ? 

1 Light on the Path, Karma, p. 35. 

2 Comments, Light on the Path. 

3 Through the Gates of Gold, p. 69. 


Looking round, it is not hard to see 
where other men find their strength. 
Its source is profound conviction. 1 

Abstain because it is right to ab 
stain, not that yourself shall be kept 
clean. 2 

The man who wars against himself 
and wins the battle can do it only when 
he knows that in that war he is 
doing the one thing which is worth 

" Resist not evil," that is, do not 
complain of or feel anger against the 
inevitable disagreeables of life. Forget 

yourself (in working for others). If men 


1 Op. cit. p. 87, 

2 Light on the Path. 

a Through the Gates of Gold, p. 118. 


revile, persecute, or wrong one, why 
resist ? In the resistance we create 
greater evils. 1 

The immediate work, whatever it 
may be, has the abstract claim of duty, 
and its relative importance or non-im 
portance is not to be considered at all. 2 

The best remedy for evil is not the 
suppression, but the elimination of 
desire, and this can best be accomplish 
ed by keeping the mind constantly 
steeped in things divine. The know 
ledge of the Higher Self is snatched 
away by engaging the mind in brooding 
over or contemplating with pleasure the 

1 Path, August 87, p. 151. 

2 Lucifer, Feb. 88, p. 478. 


objects which correspond to the unruly 
sense. 1 

Our own nature is so base, proud, 
ambitious, and so full of its own ap 
petites, judgments, and opinions, that 
if temptations restrained it not, it would 
be undone without remedy ; therefore 
are we tempted to the end that we may 
know ourselves and be humble. Know 
that the greatest temptation is to be 
without temptation, wherefore be glad 
when it assaults thee, and with resig 
nation, peace, and constancy resist it/ 

Feel that you have nothing to do for 
yourself, but that certain charges are 

1 Page 60, Bhagavad Gita. (All quotations are 
taken from Mohini s translation.) 

2 Molinos, Spiritual Guide. 


laid upon you by the Deity, which you 
must fulfil. Desire God, and not any 
thing that he can give. 1 Whatever 
there is to do, has to be done, but not 
for the sake of enjoying the fruit of 
action. 2 If all one s acts are performed 
with the full conviction that they are 
of no value to the actor, but are to be 
done simply because they have to be 
done in other words, because it is in 
our nature to act then the personality 
of egotism in us will grow weaker and 
weaker until it comes to rest, per 
mitting the knowledge revealing the 
True Self to shine out in all its 

1 P. 182, Bhagavad Gita. 

9 Introduction, Bhagavad Gita. 


One must not allow joy or pain to 
shake one from one s fixed purpose. 1 

Until the master chooses you to come 
to him, be with humanity, and unsel 
fishly work for its progress and advance 
ment. This alone can bring true 
satisfaction; 2 

Knowledge increases in proportion 
to its use that is, the more we teach 
the more we learn. Therefore, Seeker 
after Truth, with the faith of a little 
child and the will of an Initiate, 
give of your store to him who hath not 
wherewithal to comfort him on his 
journey. 3 

1 Comments, Light on the Path. 

2 Path, December 86, p. 279. 


A disciple must fully recognise 
the very thought of individual rig! 
only the outcome of the veno 
quality of the snake of Self. He 
never regard another man as a p 
who can be criticised or conder 
nor may he raise his voice in 
defence or excuse. 1 

No man is your enemy, no n 
friend. All alike are your teat 
One must no longer work for the 
of any benefit, temporal or spii 
but to fulfil the law of being wh 
the righteous will of God. 3 

1 Lucifer, p. 382, Jan. 88. 

2 Light on the Path. p. 25. 

3 Bhagavad Gita, Introduction, 



LIVE neither in the present nor the 
future, but in the eternal. The giant 
weed (of evil) cannot flower there ; this 
blot upon existence is wiped out by the 
very atmosphere of eternal thought. 1 
Purity of heart is a necessary condition 
for the attainment of " Knowledge of 
the Spirit." There are two principal 
means by which this purification may 
be attained. First, drive away persis 
tently every bad thought ; secondly, 
preserve an even mind under all condi 
tions, never be agitated or irritated at 
anything. It will be found that these 
tw r o means of purification are best pro- 

1 Light on the Path, Rule 4. 


moted by devotion and charity. We 
must not sit idle and make no attempt 
to advance because we do not feel our 
selves pure. Let everyone aspire, and 
let them work in right earnest, but they 
must work in the right way, and the first 
step of that way is to purify the heart. 1 

The mind requires purification when 
ever anger is felt or a falsehood is 
told, or the faults of another needlessly 
disclosed ; whenever anything is said or 
done for the purpose of flattery, or any 
one is deceived by the insincerity of a 
speech or an act. 2 

Those who wish for salvation ought 
to avoid lust, anger and greed, and 

1 Theosophist, Oct. 88, p. 44. 

2 Bhagavad Gita, p. 325. 


cultivate courageous obedience to the 
Scriptures, study of Spiritual philo 
sophy, and perseverance in its practical 
realisation. 1 

He who is led by selfish considera 
tions cannot enter a heaven where per 
sonal considerations do not exist. He 
who does not care for Heaven, but is 
contented where he is, is already in 
Heaven, while the discontented will in 
vain clamour for it. To be without 
personal desires is to be free and happy, 
and " Heaven " can mean nothing else 
but a state in which freedom and happi 
ness exist. The man who performs 
beneficial acts induced by a hope of 
reward is not happy unless the reward 

1 Bhagavad Gita, p. 240, - 


is obtained, and if his reward is ob 
tained his happiness ends. There can 
be no permanent rest and happiness as 
long as there is some work to be 
done, and not accomplished, and the 
fulfilment of duties brings its own 
reward. 1 

He who thinks himself holier than 
another, he who has any pride in his 
own exemption from vice or folly, he 
who believes himself wise, or in any 
way superior to his fellow-men, is in 
capable of discipleship. A man must 
become as a little child before he can 
enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Virtue 
and wisdom are sublime things, but if 

1 Magic, Intro., p. 34, Hartniann. 


they create pride and a consciousness 
of separateness from the rest of 
humanity, they are only the snakes of 
self reappearing in a finer form. The 
sacrifice or surrender of the heart of 
man and its emotions is the first of the 
rules ; it involves " the attaining of an 
equilibrium which cannot be shaken 
by personal emotion." Put, without 
delay, your good intentions into prac 
tice, never leaving a single one to 
remain only an intention. Our only 
true course is to let the motive 
for action be in the action itself, 
never in its reward ; not to be 
incited to action by the hope of the 
result, nor yet indulge a propensity to 


Through faith 1 the heart is purified 
from passion and folly ; from that 
comes mastery over the body, and, last 
of all, subjugation of the senses. 2 

The characteristics of the illuminated 
sage are, 1st, he is free from all desires, 3 
and knows that the true Ego or 
Supreme, Spirit alone is bliss, all else is 
pain. 2nd, that he is free from attach 
ment and repulsion towards whatever 
may befall him, and that he acts with 
out determination. Lastly comes the 
subjugation of the senses, which is 
useless, and frequently injurious as 

1 i.e., knowledge, and this comes by the practice 
or unselfishness and kindness. 

* P. 95, Bhagavad Gita. 

3 This can best be accomplished by keeping the 
nijnd constantly steeped in things divine, 


breeding hypocrisy and spiritual pride, 
without the second, and that again is 
not of much use without the first. 1 

He who does not practise altruism, 
he who is not prepared to share his 
last morsel 2 with a weaker or poorer 
than himself, he who neglects to help 
his brother man, of whatever race, 
nation, or creed, wherever and whenever 
he meets suffering, and who turns a 
deaf ear to the cry of human misery ; 
he who hears an innocent person 
slandered, and does not undertake his 
defence as he would undertake his 
own, is no Theosophist. 

1 P. 61, -Bhagavad Gita. 

- This must be taken in its widest sense also, 
i.e,, spiritual knowledge, etg. 


No man does right who gives up the 
unmistakable duties of life, resting on 
Divine command. He who performs 
duties, thinking that if they are not 
performed some evil will come to him, 
or that their performance will remove 
difficulties from his path, works for 
result. Duties should simply be done 
because commanded by God, who may 
at any time command their abandon 
ment. So long as the restlessness of 
our nature is not reduced to tranquillity 
we must work, consecrating to the 
Deity all fruit of our action, and 
attribute to Him the power to perform 
works rightly. The true life of man is 


rest in identity with the Supreme Spirit. 
This life is not brought into ex 
istence by any act of ours, it is a 
reality, " the truth," and is altogether 
independent of us. The realisation of 
the non-existence of all that seems 
opposed to this truth is a new con- 
sciousness and not an act. Man s 
liberation is in no way related to his 
acts. .In so far as acts promote the 
realisation of our utter inability to 
emancipate ourselves from conditioned 
existence, they are of use ; after this 
stage is realised acts become obstacles 
rather than helps. Those who work in 
obedience to Divine commands, know 
ing that the power thus to work is 
a gift of God, and no part of man s 


self-conscious nature, attain to freedom 
from the need of action. Then the pure 
heart is filled by the truth, and identity 
with the Deity is perceived. A man 
must first get rid of the idea that 
he himself really does anything, know 
ing that all actions take place in the 
" three natural qualities/ T and not in 
the soul at all. Then he must place all 
his actions on devotion. That is, sacri 
fice all his actions to the Supreme and 
not to himself. He must either set 
himself up as the God to whom he 
sacrifices, or the other real God 
Ishvara ; and all his acts and aspira 
tions are done either for himself or for 
the All. Here comes in the importance 
1 i.e. , the three guna?, 


of motive. For if he performs great 
deeds of valour, or of benefit to man, or 
acquires knowledge so as to assist man, 
and is moved to that merely because 
he thus thinks he will attain salvation, 
he is only acting for his own benefit, 
and is therefore sacrificing to himself. 
Therefore he must be devoted inwardly 
to the All ; knowing that he is not the 
doer of the actions, but the mere wit 
ness of them. As he is in a mortal body 
he is affected by doubts which will 
spring up. When they do arise, it is 
because he is ignorant about something. 
He should therefore be able to disperse 
doubt " by the sword of knowledge." 
For if he has a ready answer to some 
doubt he disperses that much, All 


doubts come from the lower nature, and 
never in any case from the higher 
nature. Therefore as he becomes more 
and more devoted he is able to know 
more and more clearly the knowledge 
residing in his Sattva (goodness) nature. 
For it says : " A man who is perfected 
in devotion (or who persists in its culti 
vation) finds spiritual knowledge sponta 
neously in himself in progress of 
time." Also, " A man of doubtful mind 
enjoys neither this world nor the other 
(the Deva world), nor final beatitude." 
The last sentence is to destroy the idea 
that if there is in us this Higher Self it 
will, even if we are indolent and doubt 
ful, triumph over the necessity for 
knowledge and lead us to final beatitude 


in common with the whole stream of 
mankind. 1 

True prayer is the contemplation of 
all sacred things, of their application to 
ourselves, our daily life and actions, 
accompanied by the most heartfelt and 
intense desire to make their influence 
stronger and our lives better and 
nobler, that some knowledge of them 
may be vouchsafed to us. All such 
thoughts must be closely interwoven 
with a consciousness of the Supreme 
and Divine Essence from which all 
things have sprung. 2 

Spiritual culture is attained through 
concentration. It must be continued 

1 Path, July 89, p. 109. 

2 Path, Aug. 89, p. 159. 


daily and every moment to be of use. 
Meditation has been defined as " the 
cessation of active external thought." 
Concentration is the entire life-tendency 
to a given end. For example, a devoted 
mother is one who consults the interests 
of her children and all branches of their 
interests in and before all things ; not 
one who sits down to think fixedly 
about one branch of their interests all 
the day. Thought has a self-reproduc 
tive power, and when the mind is held 
steadily to one idea it becomes coloured 
by it, and, as we may say, all the cor 
relates of that thought arise within the 
mind. Hence the mystic obtains know 
ledge about any object of which he 
thinks constantly in fixed contemplation. 


Here is the rationale of Krishna s 
words. " Think constantly of me ; 
depend on me alone, and thou shalt 
surely come to me" Life is the great 
teacher : it is the great manifestation 
of Soul, and Soul manifests the 
Supreme. Hence all methods are good, 
and all are but parts of the great aim, 
which is Devotion. " Devotion is 
success in actions," says the Bhagavad 
Gita. The psychic powers, as they 
come, must also be used, for they 
reveal laws. But their value must not 
be exaggerated, nor must their danger be 
ignored. He who relies on them is like 
a man who gives way to pride and 
triumph because he has reached the 


first wayside station on the peaks he 
has set out to climb, 1 


IT is an eternal law that man cannot be 
redeemed by a power external to him 
self. Had this been possible, an angel 
might long ago have visited the earth, 
uttered heavenly truths, and, by mani 
festing the faculties of a spiritual 
nature, proved a hundred facts to the 
consciousness of man of which he is 
ignorant. 2 

Crime is committed in the Spirit as 
truly as in the deeds of the body. He 

1 Path, July 89, p. 111. 

? Spirit of the New Testament, p. 508. 


who for any cause hates another, who 
loves revenge, and will not forgive an 
injury, is full of the spirit of murder, 
though none may know it. He who 
bows before false creeds, and crushes 
his conscience at the bidding of any 
institution, blasphemes his own divine 
soul, and therefore " takes the name of 
God in vain " though he never utters an 
oath. He who desires and is in sym 
pathy with the mere pleasures of sense, 
either in or out of the married relation, 
is the real adulterer. He who deprives 
any of his fellows of the light, the 
good, the help, the assistance he can 
wisely give them, and lives for the 
accumulation of material things, for his 
own personal gratification, is the real 


robber ; and he who steals from his 
fellows the precious possession of 
character by slander, and any sort of 
misrepresentation, is no less a thief, 
and one of the most guilty kind. 1 

If men were only honest with them 
selves and kindly disposed towards 
others, a tremendous change would 
take place in their estimate of the value 
of life, and of the things of this life, 3 - 

concentrating the whole force of your 
soul, to shut the door of your mind to 
all stray thoughts, allowing none to 
enter but those calculated to reveal to 
you the unreality of sense-life, and the 

1 Spirit of the New Testament, p. 513. 
2 " Theosophist, July 89, p. 590. 


Peace of the Inner World. Ponder day 
and night over the unreality of all your 
surroundings and of yourself. The 
springing up of evil thoughts is less 
injurious than that of idle and in 
different ones. B.ecause . as to evil 
thoughts you are always ,on your guard, 
and, having determined to fight and 
conquer them, this determination helps 
to - develop the will power. Indifferent 
thoughts, however, serve merely to .dis 
tract the attention and waste energy.. 
The first great basic delusion you have 
to get over is the identification of your 
self with the physical body. Begin to 
think of this body as nothing better 
than the house you have to live in for a 
time, and then you will ne^ver yield to 


its temptations. Try also with con 
sistent attempts to conquer the promi 
nent weaknesses of your nature by 
developing thought in the direction that 
will kill each particular passion. After 
your first efforts you will begin to feel 
an indescribable vacuum and blankness 
i n your heart ; fear not, but regard this 
as the soft twilight heralding the rise 
of the sun of Spiritual bliss. Sadness 
is not an evil. Complain not ; what 
seem to be sufferings and obstacles are 
often in reality the mysterious efforts of 
nature to help you in your work if you 
can manage them properly. Look upon 
all circumstances with the gratitude 
of a pupil. 1 All complaint is a rebellion 
l Theosophicdl Si/tings, No. 3, vol. 2, 89. 


against the law of progress. That which 
is to be shunned is pain not yet come. 
The past cannot be changed or amend 
ed ; that which belongs to the experi 
ences of the present cannot and should 
not be shunned ; but alike to be shun 
ned are disturbing anticipations or fears 
of the future, and every act or impulse 
that may cause present or future pain 
to ourselves or others. 1 

. VII 

THERE is no more valuable thing pos 
sessed by any individual than an ex 
alted ideal towards which he continually 
aspires, and after which he moulds his 
1 Patanjali s Yoga Aphorisms. 


thoughts and feelings, and forms, as 
best he may, his life. If he thus strives 
to become rather than to seem, he can 
not fail to continually approach nearer 
his aim. He will not, however, reach 
this point without a struggle, nor will 
the real progress that he is conscious 
of making fill him with conceit or self- 
righteousness.; for if his ideal be high, 
and his progress towards it real, he will 
be the rather humiliated than puffed 
up. The possibilities of further advance 
ment, and the conception of still higher 
planes of being that opea before him, 
will not dampen his ardour, though they 
will surely kill his conceit. It is just 
this conception of the vast possibilities 
of human life that is needed to kill out 


ennui, and to convert apathy into zest. 
Life thus becomes worth living for its 
own sake when its mission becomes 
plain, and its splendid opportunities 
are once appreciated. The most direct 
and certain way of reaching this higher 
plane is the cultivation of the principle 
of altruism, both in thought and life. 
Narrow indeed is the sweep of vision 
that is limited to self, and that measures 
all .things by the principle of self-inter 
est, for while the soul is thus self limi 
ted it is impossible for it to conceive of 
any high ideal, or to approach any 
higher plane of life. The conditions of 
such advancement lie within rather than 
without, and are fortunately made inde 
pendent of circumstances and condition 


in life. The opportunity therefore is 
offered to everyone of advancing from 
height to height of being, and of thus 
working with nature in the accomplish 1 
ment of the evident purpose of life. 1 

If we believe that the object of life is 
simply to render our material self satis 
fied, and to keep it in comfort, and that 
material comfort confers the highest 
state of possible happiness, we mistake 
the low for the high, and an illusion for 
the truth. Our material mode of life 
is a consequence- of the material con 
stitution of our bodies. We are " worms 
of the earth " because we cling with all 
our aspirations to earth. If we can 
enter upon a path of evolution, by which 

1 Man, J. Buck, p. 106* 


we become less material and more 
ethereal, a very different order of civi 
lisation would be established. Things 
which now appear indispensable and 
necessary would cease to be useful ; if 
we could transfer our consciousness 
with the velocity of thought from 
one part of the globe to another, the 
present modes of communication would 
be no longer required. The deeper we 
sink into matter, the more material 
means for comfort will be needed ; the 
essential and powerful god in man is 
not material, and independent of the 
restrictions laid upon matter. What 
are the real necessities of life ? The 
answer to this question depends entirely 
on what we imagine to be necessary. 


Railways, steamers, etc., are now a 
necessity to us, and $ 7 et millions of 
people have lived long and happily, 
knowing nothing about them. To one 
man a dozen palaces may appear to be 
an indispensable necessity, to another 
a carriage, another a pipe, and so on. 
But all such necessities are only such 
as man himself has created. They 
make the state in which man now is 
agreeable to him, and tempt him to 
remain in that state, and to desire 
nothing higher. They may even hinder 
his development instead of advancing 
it. Everything material must cease to 
become a necessity if we would really 
advance spiritually. It is the craving 
and the wasting of thought for the 


augmentation of the pleasures of the 
lower life which prevent man entering 
the higher one. 1 

1 Magic, Hartmann, p. 61. 

Printed by C. Subbarayudu 
at the Vasanta Press, Adyar, Madras.